When I tell my undergraduate popular music students that for a fleeting moment in the mid-1950s, Americanized calypso threatened to eclipse rock ‘n’ roll for sales and cultural dominance, they stare at me in disbelief. That Harry Belafonte “Banana Boat” song? Yet if calypso was a fleeting musical middlebrow fantasia, a “Negro vogue” which, like the 1890s vogue for ragtime or the 1920s vogue for the New Negro, fizzled out as quickly as it had caught fire, it need not be relegated to a footnote in U.S. cultural history. As Shane Vogel argues in Stolen Time: Black Fad Performance and the Calypso Craze, his...

You do not currently have access to this content.